Transfer refers to how previous learning impacts current and future learning, as well as its application to new situations (Elon Statement on Writing Transfer, 2015). Prior research has demonstrated that metacognitive awareness and reflection are crucial in enhancing writing proficiency and promoting writing transfer across diverse contexts (Gorzelsky et al., 2016; Moore, 2017; Yancey et al., 2014). Although reflection is commonly practiced in first-year composition courses, limited research exists on its effectiveness in facilitating writing transfer for first-year English as a second language (L2) writers at US universities. The study investigates how reflection supports transferring writing skills and knowledge between course units and how students' perceptions of transfer evolve. To achieve these goals, action research methodology was employed. Data sources, which included students' in-class and at-home writing assignments, as well as Zoom recordings of one-on-one interviews held at the end of the semester, were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Findings show that students develop awareness of audience and genre conventions, and engage in revision as they reflect on their writing process. The study highlights the importance of incorporating reflection prompts that focus on audience and genre, along with explicit instruction on revision strategies, to enhance writing transfer.


Sarah Henderson Lee

Committee Member

Nancy Drescher

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

English as a Second Language




Arts and Humanities

Available for download on Tuesday, May 01, 2029



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